Post List

  • August 18, 2010
  • 03:50 AM

Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System?

by Michael Ash in Nutri-Link Ltd - Clinical Education

By Michael Ash, BSc(Hons). DO. ND. FellowDipION Vitamin D and Vitamin A are essential co-partners in immunological and bone health.[1],[2] I’m particularly excited about vitamin A because of its profound effects on the gut mucosal immune system—a specialty of mine. Just as vitamin D has attracted attention for its ability to increase antimicrobial peptides and [...]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2010
  • 12:27 AM

Conversations really DO take two.

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

You’ve all heard it takes two to tango. And it certainly takes two (or more) to argue. And now, apparently it really does take two to have a conversation. Stephens et al. “Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication” PNAS, 2010. We know that real verbal communications requires both a speaker and a listener (often they [...]... Read more »

Stephens GJ, Silbert LJ, & Hasson U. (2010) Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(32), 14425-30. PMID: 20660768  

  • August 17, 2010
  • 11:57 PM

Bruneau Sand Dune tiger beetles caught in the act!

by Ted MacRae in Beetles in the Bush

The newest issue of CICINDELA (“A quarterly journal devoted to Cicindelidae”) contains an interesting article by my good friend and fellow tiger beetle enthusiast Kent Fothergill, who presents a fascinating sequence of photos documenting a field encounter with a mating pair of the endangered Bruneau Sand Dune tiger beetle (Cicindela waynei) (Fothergill 2010).  This is one of [...]... Read more »

Fothergill, K. (2010) Observations on mating behavior of the Bruneau Dune tiger beetle, Cicindela waynei Leffler (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Cicindelinae). CICINDELA, 42(2), 33-45. info:/

  • August 17, 2010
  • 08:41 PM

The Dental Evidence for Agriculture

by teofilo in Gambler's House

I’ve recently been discussing stable isotope analysis as a way to directly determine dietary practices from skeletal evidence, and that is certainly a powerful tool in learning about past societies, but there are some drawbacks to it.  Like all complicated laboratory procedures, it’s expensive, and it has the additional problem of being destructive.  If it’s [...]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 05:31 PM


by Invader Xan in Supernova Condensate

Causing quite a big stir in the astrochemical world recently is the astronomical detection of C60, more popularly known as fullerene. This is kind of a big deal. Fullerenes have been known about since the 1980s when Harry Kroto et al first created them by vapourising graphite with electrical discharges. Since then, it’s been found that C60 molecules are very stable and readily formed molecules. Lots of people have hypothesised them existing in space, but up until now there’s been no ........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 05:30 PM

What The Internet Thinks About Antidepressants

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Toronto team Rizo et al offer a novel approach to psychopharmacology: trawling the internet for people's opinions. It's a rapid, web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants.They designed a script to Google the names of several antidepressants in the context of someone who's taking them, and checks to see if they describe any side-effects.A large number of URLs were rapidly screened through Google Search™, using one server situated in Ohio, USA. T........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 05:01 PM

Hitchhiking through the nervous system

by Lab Rat in Lab Rat

I while ago I wrote a post about how virus's get from the outside of the cell to the interior of the nucleus and found that virus particles are able to hitchhike on the cells internal transport systems. I was quite interested therefore to find a paper in Nature Reviews (reference below) that revealed that not only do virus's latch on to host proteins to travel around inside the cell, they also use host extracellular processes for travelling around the body. And outside the cell it's not just vir........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 04:24 PM

So What Did the Turkeys Eat?

by teofilo in Gambler's House

As if on cue, given that I’ve been talking about turkey husbandry and stable isotope testing of human remains, a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science combines the two, using similar stable isotope techniques on turkey remains from sites in southwestern Colorado to determine what the turkeys were eating.  The [...]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 03:42 PM

Picking Winners?

by Shaun Hendy in A Measure of Science

It seems to have become received wisdom recently that New Zealand must pick winners with its public science investment.  In this post, I argue that this is not new:  we picked our winners a long time ago, with a strong focus on agricultural and environmental sciences.  So what are the pros and cons of backing [...]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 03:36 PM

Exercise questions

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

If there is one finding that has remained pretty solid over the past 10 – 15 years, it’s the one that says being active is a good thing for managing chronic pain.  I’m not sure how many papers I’ve read where ‘exercise’ and some form of cognitive behavioural approach have been found to produce improvements … Read more... Read more »

Pengel LH, Refshauge KM, Maher CG, Nicholas MK, Herbert RD, & McNair P. (2007) Physiotherapist-directed exercise, advice, or both for subacute low back pain: a randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 146(11), 787-96. PMID: 17548410  

  • August 17, 2010
  • 03:31 PM

Praying and staying together - and away from those infidels

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Here's a conundrum for you. In the USA, religious couples report higher satisfaction with their relationship. African-American couples are more religious than white couples. Yet African-American couples report lower relationship satisfaction than White couples. What's going on here?

The answer, according to a recent analysis of the National Survey of Religion and Family Life (NSRFL), is that African-Americans would have even worse relationships if it weren't for their religion.

The graphic........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 03:25 PM

The Future of Scientific Research in the United States

by Michael Long in Phased

Is science "unimportant" to your life? Really? Eugene Kolker (Seattle Children's Research Institute, United States) and coworkers have shown that science and engineering research, critical for the advancement of human civilization, has recently been dominated by the United States, but faces increasing competition from the European Union and China. This news feature was written on August 17, 2010.... Read more »

Hather, G. J., Haynes, W., Higdon, R., Kolker, N., Stewart, E. A., Arzberger, P., Chain, P., Field, D., Franza, B. R., Lin, B.... (2010) The United States of America and Scientific Research. PLoS ONE, 5(8). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012203  

  • August 17, 2010
  • 03:21 PM

Live Free--And Die

by Paul Statt in Paul Statt Communications

Do higher taxes change behavior? Generally speaking, yes. The laws of economics are pretty strict about this stuff: raise the price of booze, butts or junk food, and without even thinking about, we–that is, homo oeconomicus–cut back. But for public health law, the research question has to be: do we really get any healthier?... Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 02:23 PM

Becoming a Better Person: The Good, the Bad, and the Past

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

When we think of ourselves as being morally good or morally bad, what goes on in our brains? What moral memories does our mind gather to affirm that we are one or the other, and how are these memories influenced by cognitive biases?In some ways, we are already aware of some cognitive biases in the way we remember events. For example, we know of an "emotional bias" where emotional memories are remembered more vividly, are typically easier to retrieve and seem more familiar, even when the actual ........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 12:53 PM

Modern ecological research: what, where, how?

by Aaron Berdanier in Biological Posteriors

Just over ten years ago, Robert May published an article considering "the most important unanswered questions in ecology" (May 1999). This perspective piece offered some direction to a young field that was expanding rapidly. But, where is ecology going in the next thirty years (or so)?... Read more »

May, R. (1999) Unanswered questions in ecology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 354(1392), 1951-1959. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1999.0534  

  • August 17, 2010
  • 11:34 AM

Infant Sleep and Parental Responsiveness

by Amy Webb in The Thoughtful Parent

Since becoming a parent, sleep has become a major issue in my life. Probably like many of you other parents out there, I was somewhat unprepared for months of interrupted sleep and how this would affect my overall well-being. Once my son was born, I began reading everything I could get my hands on about infant/childhood sleep in an effort to understand how to get my son to sleep better. This was not only a selfish endeavor, of course, as I knew he needed good sleep and it obviously made him feel........ Read more »

Teti, D., Kim, B., Mayer, G., & Countermine, M. (2010) Maternal emotional availability at bedtime predicts infant sleep quality. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 307-315. DOI: 10.1037/a0019306  

  • August 17, 2010
  • 10:14 AM

Whatever Happened to Seismosaurus?

by Brian Switek in Dinosaur Tracking

In 1991, paleontologist David Gillette announced that he had found the largest of the enormous sauropod dinosaurs. He called it Seismosaurus halli, and based on the parts of the skeleton that had been prepared at the time, Gillette believed Seismosaurus to be between 127 and 170 feet long! Even giants such as Diplodocus would have [...]... Read more »

David D. Gillette. (1991) Seismosaurus halli, gen. et sp. nov., A New Sauropod Dinosaur from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic/Lower Cretaceuos) of New Mexico, USA. Journal of Verterbrate Paleontology, 11(4), 417-433. info:/

  • August 17, 2010
  • 10:09 AM

What Are The Origins of Number Representation?

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

This post considering the evolutionary origins of numerical cognition, specifically in terms of the approximation of large numbers, is meant as a companion to this week's series on the developmental origins of numerical cognition and developmental dyscalculia, at Child's Play.

What are the origins of number representation in the mind? Are there any innate building blocks that contribute to our understanding of mathematics and number, or must everything be learned?

Number is an important domain........ Read more »

Lipton JS, & Spelke ES. (2003) Origins of number sense. Large-number discrimination in human infants. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 14(5), 396-401. PMID: 12930467  

Agrillo, C., Dadda, M., & Bisazza, A. (2006) Quantity discrimination in female mosquitofish. Animal Cognition, 10(1), 63-70. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-006-0036-5  

  • August 17, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Learning mutation bias

by Kele in Kele's Science Blog

So. I have been reading about mutational bias primarily through the work of Arlin Stoltzfus and it’s been a bit difficult to decipher so far. For some reason I cannot find a source that provides a good explanation of how the different biases work and the relevant research. If anyone can recommend a source (a [...]... Read more »

  • August 17, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

What is Dyscalculia? How Does it Develop?

by Jason Goldman in Child's Play

Nearly everyone has heard of developmental dyslexia – a learning disorder characterized by poor reading skills despite otherwise sufficient schooling – but have you heard of developmental dyscalculia? Many people have not. Here is part 2 in a week-long series on this lesser-known learning disorder. (See part one, and a companion post on comparative numerical [...]... Read more »

Shalev, R., Manor, O., Kerem, B., Ayali, M., Badichi, N., Friedlander, Y., & Gross-Tsur, V. (2001) Developmental Dyscalculia Is a Familial Learning Disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 34(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1177/002221940103400105  

Shalev, R., & Gross-Tzur, V. (2001) Developmental dyscalculia. Pediatric Neurology, 24(5), 337-342. DOI: 10.1016/S0887-8994(00)00258-7  

Shalev, R., Auerbach, J., Manor, O., & Gross-Tsur, V. (2000) Developmental dyscalculia: prevalence and prognosis. European Child , 9(S2). DOI: 10.1007/s007870070009  

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